Factory aces feature in Clipsal 500 Aus GT grid

Australian GT has confirmed a bumper grid of the Clipsal 500 season opener

Factory Audi and McLaren drivers feature in a bumper 27 car grid for the opening round of the 2017 Australian GT Championship at next week’s Clipsal 500.

South African young gun Kelvin van der Linde has been drafted in to join the Jamec Pem Racing squad as a replacement for 2015 champion and Audi ace Christopher Mies in the #74 R8 GT3.

Mies is unable to contest this year’s championship due to other racing commitments for Audi.

Van der Linde is one of Audi’s young emerging talents boasting experience in the German ADAC GT Masters and the Blancpain GT Series.

The 20-year-old, who won the 2014 ADAC GT Masters title, will team up with the returning Geoff Emery, who is set for his first race since he suffered a fractured vertebra in a crash at Barbagallo Raceway in May.

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Blancpain Endurance Series champion Come Ledogar adds to the international flavour with the works McLaren driver joining Australian GT convert Fraser Ross in a Tekno Autosports McLaren 650S.

The 25-year-old partnered Shane van Gisbergen and Rob Bell in a Garage 59 McLaren on the way to the Blancpain Endurance Series title last year.

Ledogar raced for Tekno Autosports at the recent Bathurst 12 Hour and at last year’s Australian GT finale at Highlands Park.

The factory supported BMW Team SRM operation returns for a second year with a new driver line-up.

Porsche Carrera Cup driver James Bergmuller will join the experienced Steven Richards in the BMW M6.

Audi will be represented by six entries with the van der Linde/Emery (Jamec Pem Racing) car joined by the sister #75 piloted by Steve McLaughlan.

The pair are joined by Audi Customer Racing Australia prepared R8s for Marc Cini, Ash Walsh/James Koundouris, Greg Taylor/Nathan Antunes and Ash Samadi.

Bentley returns to the Australian GT scene courtesy of the new Heretic Autosport squad, who will field a Continental GT3 for John Bowe and Melinda Price.

Following an appearance at the Bathurst 12 Hour, Liam Talbot will continue behind the wheel of the Walkinshaw Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.

As previously reported, Scott Taylor Motorsport has expanded to field two Mercedes AMG GT3s with Max Twigg joining the team during the off season.

The Gold Coast-based squad will operate a car for owner Scott Taylor and Craig Baird.

Meanwhile, Miedecke Stone Motorsport welcomes a new driver for the Australian GT campaign with Tony Bates set to pilot the Aston Martin Vantage.

The Australian GT Championship will host three 40 minute races at the Clipsal 500 from March 2-5.

Australian GT Championship 2017 Entry List

# Team Car Drivers
3 Bondi Wholefoods Audi R8 LMS Ash Samadi
4 McElrea Racing Lamborghini R-EX Tim Miles/Jaxon Evans
5 GT Motorsport Audi R8 LMS Greg Taylor/Nathan Antunes
7 Darrell Lea Aston Martin Vantage V12 Tony Quinn
8 Scott Taylor Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 Max Twigg
9 Hallmarc Constrictios Audi R8 LMS Marc Cini
11 Objective Racing McLaren 650S GT3 Tony Walls
14 Peter Major Lamborghini R-EX Peter Major
18 Heretic Autosport Bentley Continental GT3 John Bowe/Melinda Price
19 Hogs Breath Café/Griffith Corporation Mercedes-AMG GT3 Mark Griffith
23 JBS Australia Lamborghini R-EX Roger Lago/David Russell
24 Miedecke Stone Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage V12 Tony Bates
29 Pirelli/Trofeo Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Jim Manolios/Dean Canto
44 Supabarn Supermarkets Audi R8 LMS James Koundouris/Ash Walsh
48 Interlloy M Motorsport Lamborghini R-EX Justin McMillan/Glen Wood
51 AMAC Motorsport Porsche 997 GT3-R Andrew Macpherson/Brad Shiels
59 Tekno Autosports McLaren 650S GT3 Fraser Ross/Côme Ledogar
73 Triffid.Bar.Venue Lamborghini R-EX Michael Hovey
74 Jamec Pem Racing Audi R8 LMS Geoff Emery/Kelvin van der Linde
75 Jamec Pem Racing Audi R8 LMS Steve McLaughlan
100 BMW Team SRM BMW M6 GT3 Steve Richards/James Bergmuller
222 Scott Taylor Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 Scott Taylor/Craig Baird
777 The Bend Motorsport Park Lamborghini R-EX Yasser Shahin
911 Walkinshaw GT3 Porsche 911 GT3-R Liam Talbot
15 Veloce Motorsport – ULX110 Porsche GT3 Cup Car Keith Wong/Michael Almond
68 Michael O’Donnell Porsche GT3 Cup Car Michael O’Donnell
69 Koala Motorsport Lamborghini R-EX Brenton Griguol/Tim Macrow

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